Register of Freeminers and Quarrymen
This is a transcript of the Register held at Gloucestershire Archives and was completed by May Brace to whom we extend our sincere thanks.
From 1837 all Births, Deaths and Marriages were supposed to be registered by law, and copies from the local civil registers were sent to the General Record Office quarterly. As there was no penalty for not registering a birth ( until 1870s) not all children were registered but to become eligible as a Freeminer they had to prove that they were born in the Forest. Some of those without birth certificates were able to produce records of their baptism and some could not. In these cases other local people would vouch for them. Thus you may find instances of a persons existence where there is no other evidence of their birth.
There are some Place Names added into the entries e.g. London or Illinois. This may indicate that these miners moved on to these places but you can only treat the information as a lead until you can prove it from other sources.
After transcribing about half, I discovered just how useful these records could be when I had the shock of realising that I was typing my own grandfathers name. No-one in our present family had known anything about this time in his life, just after World War 1, and so I would urge everyone to check this database.